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Is Berlin becoming unaffordable for cool people?

A recent magazine article posted by Stern magazine claims that Berlin is losing its “coolness” as prices skyrocket.

January 05th, 2015
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Berlin is known for its thriving and techno party scene. Tourists from all over the world often fly into Berlin for a long insomniac, party weekend. Many clubs in Berlin have become the world hub of techno music, despite their arbitrary bouncers.

But many people, Berliners and tourists included, are nostalgic for Berlin’s rougher and more anarchic days. Just after the Berlin Wall fell clubs used to pop up in abandoned spaces, before fire and safety regulations could shut them down. Many wish that the wild years between 1990-96 were still alive and flourishing. Some of the nostalgia goes back even further, with people dreaming of the days when West Berlin was a libertine and free-loving island surrounded by the strictly regulated East Germany.

Today, by contrast, locals are questioning Berlin’s gentrification. Throngs of expats and westerns have flocked to formerly edgy districts like Prenzlauer Berg and changed the vibe.

Berlin is and will always remaining a fascinating city. It is the centre of almost all 20th Century history. Although most of this history is extremely dark, many people are returning to the city to start a new chapter.

Unfortunately, with the rise in rent and living costs, locals feel like they are being priced out. The fact that many parts of the city remain unusable due to construction has not helped the situation. For families with school-aged children the situation is even more difficult. Recently the Berlin government has made over 20 school reforms. Most of these reforms have been ideologically motivated and arguably do not foster excellence. The government is also seeking to institute new regulations in international schools. These new reforms may annoy expats and cosmopolitan locals.

Berlin, as a city, is finally balancing the budget and appears to have grown up and wants to prove it is responsible. Hence the city’s bid for the Olympics either in 2024 or 2028. Although Berlin remains one of the most exciting cities in Europe, there is some concern that its coolest days are behind it. Only time and the potential of rising prices will tell if Berlin will continue to carry the torch of coolness.

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References and Links

News from Berlin
Berlin Global